April 12-16, 2023



Patience, Confidence, Kindness & Leadership

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to speak to girls and boys at the YMCA as part of an 11-week day camp for kids of all ages. Once I arrived, I was overcome with excitement as I looked at all the attentive, happy, and respectful boys and girls. We discussed the North Carolina Azalea Festival and all of the events the Festival entails…some kids had walked or danced in the Parade; some had entered the Children’s Art Contest; and some had shopped around at the Street Fair Presented by Wells Fargo. We talked about the history of the Festival; how this is the 70th year and how it started at Greenfield Lake. When I mentioned Greenfield Lake, many of the girls and boys piped up about how many alligators there are at the lake – they were all were so smart!

Lilly at YMCA post

I mentioned my history with the Festival, and how I got involved when I was only 4-years-old. I even talked about the Azalea Festival Youth Committee (AFYC), and how when all the girls and boys got into high school, they would have the opportunity to join. Through AFYC, they can become involved in ALL ASPECTS of the Festival. AFYC teaches leadership – an excellent quality to possess.

I then transitioned into the main point of my talk – what it means to be a true princess. The girls and boys brainstormed with me, and decided the qualities of a true princess were: patience, confidence, kindness, and leadership. They also listed actions of a princess, such as always helping with chores, being kind to their siblings, tutoring their classmates, and always lending a helping hand to anyone who needs it. The girls and boys designed their own “princess” and wrote down princess qualities.

True Princess

After my visit to the YMCA, I am sure of these three things: 1) all the boys and girls at the YMCA knew the qualities of a true princess, 2) there were some very interested girls for the North Carolina Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant in a few years, and 3) the girls and boys I talked to would really enjoy it if Beyoncé was one of the Concerts for the 70th Azalea Festival (I strongly support this idea).

I LOVED going to the YMCA and teaching all about the North Carolina Azalea Festival and the true qualities of a princess. The boys and girls were great listeners and were able to identify qualities of not only a great princess, but what makes a great person:

Kindness &

2016 North Carolina Azalea Festival Princess
Lilly Kays

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